William Herbert Brown, dermatologist

Scope and Content

Glass negatives, c.1920-1940; photographs and stereoscopic prints, c. 1920-1970.

Administrative / Biographical History

Herbert Brown was born in Govan, in Glasgow, on 28th March 1878. He was the son of Joseph Brown, master starch maker and Elizabeth Brown, née Hay. He qualified MB, ChB from the University of Glasgow in 1901, being awarded MD with honours in 1905. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps for the duration of the First World War, and during this time he acquired the material for the Atlas of the Primary and Cutaneous Lesions of Acquired Syphilis in the Male which was published with E.F. White in 1920. Following demobilisation in 1919, he was appointed as the first Consulting Physician for diseases of the skin at the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow. He was a member of the British Association of Dermatologists from its inception and was President during 1940-1941. He was also a founder member of the North British (now Scottish) Dermatological Society. He was a keen amateur photographer and accumulated a large amount of clinical photographs, monoscopic and stereoscopic, and over a thousand glass plate negatives. The photographs were later arranged according to skin condition by Dr. L. Taylor, Dermatologist at the Victoria Infirmary who added further photographs to form a teaching collection.

Herbert Brown retired in 1945 and died in March 1959.


The negatives have been kept in Brown’s original order. The photographs are in the order devised by Dr. L Taylor.

Access Information

Access to some items may be restricted. Please contact Heritage staff at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. 75 year closure on clinical records.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list available at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow


C.S. Jury, T.W. Lucke and C.S. Munro, “The Clinical Photography of Herbert Brown: a perspective on early 20th century dermatology,” Cinical and Experimental Dermatology, 25, (2001), pp. 449-454.